In northwestern Italy, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the 16th and 17th century “New Streets” of Genoa can be found in the historic city center. Le Strada Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli became an inscribed UNESCO site in 2006. The elaborate Renaissance and Baroque palaces are located on Via Balbi and Via Garibaldi and present an excellent “Buon Natale” holiday experience.
The area around the Cathedral of San Lorenzo is medieval, but the 12th century Duomo is Romanesque. Genoa is Italy’s most important commercial port. The “Lanterna” lighthouse is a vestige of Genoa’s medieval glory. Genoa has the largest aquarium in Europe located in Porto Antico www.portoantico.it. Porto Antico also has a Childrens’ Museum with a lovely waterfront Promenade and shops. The restaurants offer outstanding “Vino con Vista” oppotunities.
According to legend, this may have been the childhood home of Christopher Columbus whose memory permeates the town. Genoa’s historically impressive “urban development projects represent plans by the public authority to parcel out a system of lodging based upon legislation.” UNESCO
On Via Garibaldi, Genoa’s most beautiful street, the 16th century Palazzo Bianco houses an outstanding collection of Ligurian art from 1400 to 1700 including works by Luca Cambiaso, Bernardo Strozzi and Giovanni Benedetto. At the Palazzo Bianco, one of my favorite Caravaggio’s paintings “Ecce Homo” (Behold the Man of Sorrows) can be viewed; as well as frescoes by de Ferrari and Domenico Piola. The Gallery of Palazzo Rosso has a fine collection of furniture, ceramics and Chinese pottery. The Museum of Oriental Art houses treasures brought to Genoa by her famous navigators.
The “Rolli” palaces were patrician residences built by the wealthiest and most powerful aristocratic families of the Republic of Genoa. These dwellings were built at the height of Genoa’s seafaring prowess. Palaces are generally three to four stories high and feature spectacular staircases, courtyards, and loggias overlooking gardens. The owners of these palazzi were obligated to host official visits of State as decreed by the Senate in 1576. These formal visits contributed to the dissemination of their architectural model, which attracted famous artists like Peter Paul Rubens.
Holiday Events in Genoa:
Christmas Market “Mercatino di Natale di Porto Siberia” at Porto Antico until January 9th
18th Century Navity Scene in Palazzo Rosso Museum until February 6th
St. Nicholas Market in Piazza Picca Pietra where vendors will be dressed in Medieval costumes December 5-23
“Natalidea” Festival at the Fiera di Genoa from December 7-19
“Pontedecimo Nativity” wIth outdoor Christmas stalls and Nativity Scenes at the Villa Serra di Comago on VIa Carlo Levi in Genoa Pontedecimo
To learn more about Italy read www.vino-con-vista.comTravel Guides.
- Romanesque Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genoa Italy (vinoconvistablog.me)
- Buon Natale: Holiday Events in Friuli Venezia-Giulia Italy (vino-con-vista.info)uon